This week’s dinner menu features Taco Salad Casserole, Creamy Tomato Soup, Easy Jambalaya, and lots more! I also talk about some things I’ve watched this week that might change how you think about food!
Hi there! Normally in my weekly menu posts I ramble on about something silly or whiny or mundane, but this week I have more important things on my mind. We watched the documentary Cowspiracy this week, which talks about the environmental impact of animal farming (especially beef and dairy). A few days later, we watched a talk by Jamie Oliver about how the food Americans are eating and serving their children is causing health problems and shortening our lifespans. (Why can’t we just watch mindless reality shows like everyone else??)
I’ve been riddled with guilt and worry since watching these movies, and I’ve been torn about whether to talk about it here. On the one hand, I don’t want to get political or controversial and upset or alienate anyone. On the other hand, I have an audience and a message that I think is very important to share, and it seems irresponsible not to talk about it just for the fear of losing readers. I think the the best I can do is to tell you this information is out there and ask you to watch it and make choices that are best for you.
Cowspiracy is what has affected me the most, and I would urge you to watch this movie too. You can find it on Netflix streaming, and I shared the trailer below. It’s largely about environmental agencies ignoring or covering up the fact that animal agriculture is one of the most harmful things we are doing to the environment. I was more interested to learn what animal farming is doing to our planet than hearing the hows and whys of why it’s not being discussed. Now that I understand the environmental impact of raising animals for meat, especially beef, I’ve started to think twice about cooking with beef or even cow’s milk. I really don’t think my family would ever go vegan — there are just too many animal products that I love to cook with and eat — but I do think we will make some changes to the way we shop for food with sustainability in mind.
As for Jamie Oliver’s message about eating better and teaching our kids about food, I already show you here at The Weary Chef how you can make fresh, (reasonably) healthy meals in a short amount of time instead of eating takeout or processed food. I hope that has helped some families make better choices about what they eat, but I am guilty of feeding my own kids too many hot dogs, boxed mac and cheese, etc. I do try to buy high quality, natural products whenever possible, but making them fresh mac and cheese and cooking unprocessed meats would surely be a better choice. I’m going to try making those changes for my family. You can watch the entire talk here if you’d like and think about how it might relate to you and your family:
Now that I’ve gotten all that serious business out of the way, let’s get to the business of eating! This week’s dinner menu features seven wholesome, delicious, easy meals that are low on beef and processed ingredients but big on flavor. I hope you find several recipes you’d like to try!
- NEW! Taco Salad Casserole
- Pan Fried Chicken with Cornmeal Crust (serve with two vegetables of your choice)
- NEW! Creamy Tomato Soup with Chicken and Sausage
- Buffalo Turkey Burgers
- Chicken and Greens with Wine and Bacon
- Smoked Salmon Pizza
- Quick Cajun Jambalaya
Looking for more recipes? Check out this collection of Pecan Recipes I shared at Parade Magazine this week!